He’s speaking out. Dale Earnhardt Jr. released a heartfelt statement via Twitter on Monday, August 19, days after surviving a fiery plane crash with his wife, Amy Earnhardt (née Reimann), and their 15-month-old daughter, Isla Rose. The retired NASCAR stock race car driver acknowledged all of the supportive comments he’s received and revealed how grateful he feels.

“Amy and I want to thank everyone who has lifted us up with phone calls, messages and prayer since last Thursday [August 15]. We are truly blessed that all on board escaped with no serious injuries, including our daughter, our two pilots and our dog Gus,” Dale, 44, wrote in his post on Twitter. The father of one also shared the message on his Instagram page.

“With respect to the investigation, we will not be speculating or discussing the cause of the accident. I am thankful for the quick response of my pilots, local law enforcement, emergency personnel and hospital staff,” he continued.

“Lastly Amy and I continue to be very appreciative of the privacy extended to us to process everything. It has been important to do that together and on our own time.”

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At the time of the accident, the family had been flying out of Elizabethton Municipal Airport. “A Cessna Citation rolled off the end of Runway 24 and caught fire after landing,” an FAA statement read, according to The Tennessean. It’s reported that the plane’s fuselage had cracked, potentially due to the crash, and that may have been what caused the fire.

Dale’s sister, Kelley Earnhardt, later took to Twitter with an update. “I can confirm Dale, Amy [and] Isla, along with his two pilots, were involved in a crash in Bristol, TN this afternoon,” she tweeted. “Everyone is safe and has been taken to the hospital for further evaluation. We have no further information at this time. Thank you for understanding.”

Afterwards, Dale reportedly took some time off to recover and spend time with his loved ones.

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